Parish & Ward Church of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Lecture Series

The SPAB will be hosting a series of talks exploring buildings in their environment through conservation projects in designed, industrial and digital landscapes, and the relationship between landscape, war and commemoration. Our annual spring lectures take place in London and are designed as a way for members and friends to come together and explore topics of interest in a sociable setting. The Spring Lecture Series has been designed to have wide appeal for members, friends and anyone with a curiosity about our nation's built heritage. Presented by experts, the events take place at St Botolph's Hall, Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TL. Please arrive at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start. To book a place on one of the lectures please download the booking form below.

What Shimmering Strangeness!
Repairing the Crystal Grotto at Painshill Park, Surrey
Adrian Powell (Cliveden Conservation Workshop), Dr Wendy Monkhouse (National Trust) and Michael Gove (Chief Executive of the Painshill Park Trust Ltd). Thursday 6 March.

Commissioned in 1760 from the celebrated grotto maker Joseph Lane, the Crystal Grotto forms the centre piece of the Hon. Charles Hamilton's landscape garden at Painshill. With its eerie rockwork exterior and glittering crystal-clad interior it was described as "the finest of its type ever built". This lecture describes the two-year project to repair the Grotto, stabilising the structure and refixing thousands of crystals.

Forerunner of Arkwright's Grand Plan
Protecting the Lumsdale Valley, Derbyshire
Julian Burgess (The Arkwright Society - Lumsdale Project). Thursday 13 March.

On the fringe of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford, though less well-known, the Lumsdale Valley is one of the country's most concentrated sites for early water-powered industry. Architect Julian Burgess describes the Lumsdale Project's Masterplan to protect and conserve the individual remains and special character of this unique environment: a secluded wooded valley sheltering ruined mills, a smithy, ponds and waterfalls.

From Iron Harvest to Little Oasis
War and landscape: landscape as war memorial
Maggie Goodall (SPAB). Thursday 20 March.

As the Centenary of the start of the First World War approaches, SPAB's Education and Training Manager shares some thoughts on the intimate and powerful relationship between landscape and war. War art and writing, parallels with landscape history, and the war memorial movement provide a context to examine the impact on home and battlefield landscapes of war and its commemoration, including the creation of war memorial parks. Designed landscapes with an explicit memorial function, these parks illustrate aspects of the heated contemporary debate between practical and aesthetic war memorials and alternatives to public sculpture.